August 30, 2008
It is football season.
Ich bin ein Longhorn.
August 21, 2008
By now you've noticed that we're within 500 hits of the big 50,000 on our little blog. We're honored after just under 18 months to be hitting 50,000, especially considering our blogging peer and mentor over at ZiggyBackRide is yet to hit 20,000. Through our first 49,500 hits, we've had the following people visiting our site:
- 48,000 -- Jeff and Abram reloading
- 1,000 -- Random Deadspin jerks
- 500 -- JBrater
- 300 -- Various members of the Orlansky family
- 199 -- Various friends (A couple Bens, a Laz, Scottie, Greg, Barry, etc.)
- 1 -- Sam Lee
- 0 -- Various members of the Asher family
The only question remaining is -- who will be the 50,000th visitor? Will it be you? The winner will receive a free autograph from both authors on your 2008 The Eyes of Texas preview book (you buy the book, we'll sign it for free). So subscribe to the site or keep checking back regularly, because anyone can win.
August 20, 2008
August 19, 2008
First, one of our favorite (and arguably most underrated) college football sites is CollegeFootballNews.com, formerly administered by Fox Sports and now by Scout. They've got great previews up for Texas, LSU, Penn State, Michigan, Kansas, and most any other team you'd care to read about. The only real issue with the site is that it tends to load rather slowly. The other, not-so-real issue is that they are predicting the Longhorns to go 8-4 with a loss to OU and 3 road losses (Colorado, Tech, & KU). Those are certainly all games that Texas could lose, but we're not ready to buy the hype on Tech or CU just yet.
Meanwhile, SMQ used to provide a lot of college football-related chatter and analysis, but now its author Matt Hinton has moved on to Yahoo! We assume that means he is now being paid to write. His Yahoo! blog is called Dr. Saturday, and it's very good. But it's apparently not quite done yet.
Burnt Orange Nation, where we sometimes post, is a part of SBN (Sports Blog Nation). Until recently, the LSU blog on SBN had been less than stellar in its frequency of posts, but now Richard (formerly of Geaux Tuscaloosa) has taken over and the site is kept quite current. It's called And the Valley Shook. It's fun.
Finally, read Barking Carnival. It's fun, too.
August 16, 2008
- The Olympics have been fantastic, just fantastic. The glory includes Michael Phelps captivating the nation, the tragedy of the men's volleyball team, women's gymnastics taking the individual gold and silver, the men's basketball team teaching us to love (USA basketball) again, 13 year old Chinese gymnasts, and a real medal count race being tainted by the existence of synchronized diving. We've got a week and a half left in the Olympics, and we're not ashamed to say that we'll be sad when this is over.
- Jannero Pargo is going to Russia to play basketball, signing a one year deal worth roughly $3.5 million with the Moscow Dynamo. Rather than adding to his skills during the prime of his career on the world's stage, he's taking a single fat paycheck to play in international abscurity and avoid paying taxes. Maybe there's an angle here that we're not seeing, but it seems like an awful lot to give up (fame, chance to play for a title, long term financial security) for just over $1 million, not to throw in the relative increased cost of living between Moscow and New Orleans/San Antonio.
- As if you need another reason to hate USC, it turns out they kicked Augie Garrido out of a scrimmage that was closed to the public but open to select alumni. Garrido is not an alum, but it seems kind of dick to kick the all-time winningnest baseball coach out of a preseason football scrimmage. We'd say something chippy but instead we'll just put the 2006 Rose Bowl DVD on and enjoy.
August 14, 2008
10. Don't watch the early-December bowl games unless your team is involved. It will only get you frustrated with the fact that North Texas and Middle Tennessee State get to go to bowl games, you'll get burnt out by the time the good games roll around, and you'll be embarrassed to be watching such drek when you could be having social interactions with real people.
9. Never forget the One Ring.
8. Play the "Which Crappy Big Ten Game Will Pam Ward be Calling This Week?" game with your friends. Check out the several crappy Big Ten games on ESPN on a given Saturday, everybody select a matchup, and tune in for as long as you can bear it to see who wins!
7. Make sure to watch the greatest player of our era every Saturday you can during football season because that 2006 Rose Bowl DVD never gets old.
6. Go to a good SEC tailgate party. It might even be a good idea to go without tickets, skip the game, and just stay at the tailgate the whole time. You might not enjoy the game, especially if your team sucks. But you're sure to have fun at a tailgate!
5. Watch the Texas-OU Game. Texas was the better team in '05 and '06 so Texas won the game. Last year was a toss up and OU won a close match. This year it seems OU is the more talented squad, but we must always hope.
4. Watch the Alabama-Auburn Game. We have no real interest in either one of these teams. In fact, we actually rather dislike them both. But with apologies to Ohio State-Michigan, there simply isn't a more bitter rivalry in all of college sports than the Bama-Auburn game. In Alabama, you're not Baptist, Catholic, or Jewish first. You're either a Bama person or an Auburn person. If a kid from a Bama family goes to Auburn, that kid "converted." This is not just about football to these people. This is about getting confirmation that your entire belief system is better than that of the other half of your little state. For people like us who are not involved, it's actually a little much. And funny. And it makes for great football.
As a caveat, we would not, in fact, recommend that Bama or Auburn fans watch this game. It will only get you worked up.
3. Remember that the games are played on Saturdays (and sometimes Thursdays). Do so by not letting your buddies who are fans of other schools get to you and by keeping your own dialogue civil. We will, of course, be writing a lot about what we think in this space but we will certainly be doing our part to try and keep the conversation rational. Some of your friends like to needle you and get a rise out of you over college football. That's cool. But just remember that no matter what they say or how you respond, you will have absolutely no impact on the outcome of the game. So just watch it.
2. Remember that the games are played on Saturdays (and sometimes Thursdays). Do so by watching a minimal amount of football-related television throughout the week. The more you listen to Mark May and all the other talking heads on ESPN, the angrier you will become. Unless you are a Southern Cal fan, you will feel that your team is constantly "disrespected" because we all have a certain level of irrational bias about our teams. And, those guys are blowhards.
1. Be a Texas Fan.
August 11, 2008
- Underdog -- check.
- Jerks are favored -- check.
- History on the line -- check.
- Charismatic leader who is arguably the greatest of his sport -- check.
- Solid start -- check.
- Fall behind big late -- check.
- Amazing comeback leading to remarkable victory -- check.
Ladies and gentlemen we present for you the pool version of the 2006 Rose Bowl. Just replace French with Trojans and every American swimmer with Vince Young and it fits perfectly!
We love the Olympics!
August 8, 2008
- Let's start off with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Redbirds are in a perfect storm of almost-awesomeness this season: a bullpen not good enough to hang onto medium-sized leads, and an offense not quite good enough to give mediocre pitching performances adeuate run support to bail them out. Of course, were St. Louis located on either coast of this great nation rather than in the middle, then we'd be overjoyed about our first-place heroes. That's right: the Cardinals, at 64-53, would be atop either of the other two NL divisions right now. Instead they are 6 games out of first and one game out of second. The third-place team in the former "Comedy Central" is one game out of the Wild Card. Which brings us to the question: why the heck did Bud Selig think his little mini-realignment that moved the Brewers to the NL was necessary? All it did was create baseball's only 6-team division and give the NL 16 teams to the AL's 14. What sense does that make? None. Would we be complaining if the Brewers didn't happen to be the only thing standing in the Cards' way to the Wild Card? No. And do we understand that the decision actually did make sense because it allowed both leagues to have an even number of teams? We guess so.
- We get to go see the Saints practice here in beautiful Jackson, MS tomorrow. They looked pretty solid in their preseason opener against Arizona last night--but more importantly, no one got hurt.
- Tom Glavine will start for the Mississippi Braves tomorrow night. The M-Braves maintain a 1.5 game lead over Montgomery for first place in the Southern League South Division, further proving that Jackson is better than Montgomery. Birmingham is 7 and a half behind Mississippi, meaning that if the M-Braves can stave off the Biscuits then we should have Minor League Playoff Baseball in Jacktown for the second straight year.
- College football happens really soon. We are a mere 22 days from the Longhorns' season opener against the Fightin' Howard Shnellenbergers of FAU and LSU's opener against the Very Scary Appalachian State Mountaineers. Who, you may recall, are hot, hot, hot.